Not all CVs are the same and selecting the right CV for the job is essential. Take a look at our example CVs to discover which is right for you and to find inspiration to help you craft the perfect document
People often create one CV and send this out regardless of the job or employer. This is a mistake that could lead to you missing out on an interview.
A standard CV isn't suitable for all jobs and levels of experience. A CV must highlight skills that match the recruiter's needs and sometimes you may need to use a different CV template to achieve this.
Sometimes known as a traditional or a graduate CV, a chronological CV is used to match your qualifications and work experience with the requirements for the job role. This type of CV is structured in reverse chronological order i.e. the most recent qualifications and experience are listed first.
This graduate CV template makes it easy for employers to identify potential candidates. It allows you to provide clear details of your qualifications, work history and responsibilities, which match the criteria provided in the job description.
It's important to include:
- dates - cover any gaps in your history
- qualifications and work experience - match these to the role you're applying for
- additional skills and knowledge - cover essential criteria for the role.
Take a look at how to write a CV.
Also known as a functional CV, the skills-based CV can be used if you have gaps in your employment history. This type of CV template is also useful if you have limited experience or are applying for a job that is unrelated to your degree.
Employability skills are transferable to different roles and employers. The skills-based CV allows you to focus on the skills you have developed in various areas of your life.
It's important to:
- position your skills profile prominently
- match your skills with the role profile and use the same headings
- provide evidence of how you've used your skills in real life situations.
Find out what skills employers want.
Focused on educational achievements, academic CVs are used when applying for lecturing or research-based roles. They differ to general or chronological CVs as they include sections on publications, teaching experience, research activities and conferences and presentations.
You need to ensure that your writing style is scholarly but clearly understood to those outside of your field of interest.
While longer than chronological CVs (there isn't really a set page limit), it's still important to keep academic CVs as concise as possible and to target them to the role's requirements, presenting each section in reverse chronological order. Your academic achievements, research interests and specialist skills should be placed on the first page.
Also include details of your specialist skills, research outcomes, potential future developments, and any funding or grants that you've received and professional memberships that you've gained.
Find out more about getting an academic job.
To find out how to market a PhD effectively, see your PhD, what next? If you're a postgraduate but not looking for an academic career, your CV should follow an alternative layout.
School leaver CV
Putting together a strong CV when you've just completed your GCSEs or A-levels and you have minimum work experience isn't easy but it can be done. The good news is employers rarely expect school leavers to have massive amounts of work experience - the length of your CV doesn't matter, it's the quality that counts.
- personal profiles are optional - do some research to see if the role you're applying for and the employer requires one. If you choose to include one on your CV make sure it says something and adds to the document. Empty, generic statements won't impress.
- make sure you highlight sought after skills and attributes from the job advert in your CV. You might not have a lot of experience but relate the skills and knowledge you do have to the role. Avoid trying to 'flesh out' your CV with irrelevant detail.
- presentation matters - make sure it's consistent throughout and avoid final sentences or stray words trailing on to another page. Bullet points are not essential, but they can help you to be brief and get useful information into a limited space.
To make your teaching CV stand out begin by highlighting details of your school and teaching experience. This could be a mixture of paid and volunteer positions. Include relevant activities such as sports coaching, summer camps or working with youth groups.
Then outline your teacher educational achievements such as your teacher training and any relevant university modules.
List skills that will be useful in the role such as IT knowledge, languages and leadership ability and be sure to mention any interests relevant to teaching such as sporting activities or musical abilities.
Close by providing details of two current referees, such as one from your teacher training and one from teaching practice.
Local authorities and schools usually follow 'safer recruitment procedures' and so ask all applicants to complete a standard application form. That way no-one can hide information, which may be possible in a cleverly written CV.
Read more about getting a teaching job.
Technical CV for IT jobs
An IT CV, also known as a technical CV, can be used to apply for roles such as web developer, IT consultant, software tester or applications developer.
Include an introductory paragraph, which mentions your technical expertise and experience, and incorporate a 'key skills' heading which will allow for more detail when discussing technical competencies.
While you might be tempted to showcase all your technical abilities at once, ensure that you highlight relevant skills first and foremost. You should also bear in mind that the document will need to be understood by non-technical people such as HR managers.
Use this CV template to focus on your:
- ability to maintain existing software applications and develop new ones
- experience of applying technical standards, theories and techniques
- problem-solving capabilities
- communication skills.
Explore IT graduate jobs.
Also known as a legal CV, the law CV template can be used when applying for training contracts.
At this stage it's ok to leave out the personal profile (usually presented at the top of your CV). Who you are, your career ambitions and why you're applying for the role should be clearly stated in your cover letter. However, if you're applying for solicitor jobs further down the line you'll need to include this personal statement.
Begin by outlining your education background, making sure to include relevant electives, modules and awards. Then move on to highlight all legal work experience including vacation schemes, work placements or pro bono work.
Commercial awareness is incredibly important to employers so be sure to evidence this in your law CV. List all commercial experience, including relevant tasks and responsibilities.
Discover how to write a legal CV and cover letter.
Generally video CVs used in customer-facing and creative roles in marketing, sales and the media, but a good well thought out video CV can get you noticed by employers in any sector.